Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Chinese BFF

I want to tell you about my best friend. She helps me, comforts me, makes me laugh, translates for me, and she even cleans my toilets! 

Okay let me explain...
In China it is normal to have what is called an Ayi. (Chinese for Auntie.) She is a domestic helper. When we first moved here I was against getting one and thought that I could do it all. Almost all expat families have them. They are very affordable and make living in China a lot more manageable. We ended up not having an Ayi until Samantha was born. At that point I was eating my words. I wanted one. I needed one. I dreamed of having one. Let me explain even further...

In China people speak Chinese. Shocker, I know! This includes the maintenance people for your apartment, the cell phone company, the taxi drivers, the lady who sells me fruit, our neighbors and their dog. In order to do practically anything you need to have someone translate for you or you need to have received your masters in pantomime. I wanted an Ayi (Auntie) just to make sure I was able to do things! In addition to being my translator/secretary/personal assistant/cheerleader and best friend I needed someone to help me with Samantha. 




She is also the most amazing dumpling maker. I could eat her dumplings all day. 





Living in China is difficult. (Okay, here is where I give you my sob story...) I don't have a car. I don't have a Costco/TJ's/Target, I have to walk everywhere, no one speaks english, and I had a newborn. Taking Samantha to the grocery store is pretty much near impossible. Can I take a taxi? Yeah, but does that taxi have seat belts? No. Does that taxi driver smoke in the car? Most likely, yes. Being able to leave Samantha with a responsible adult in order to go to the store has made life doable. 


She has been a part of our family for a year now. I don't use that term lightly. I really feel like she is our 4th family member. In addition to being an amazing mother and super lovely wife I am going to college online through BYU-Idaho and that means I have to dedicate hours of my time to schoolwork. Ayi makes it possible for me to do homework. 


She recently went to her hometown for Chinese New Year (Which all Chinese people do) and I missed her. I text her pictures of Samantha and asked her how she was doing. It was like my friend was on vacation and I was sad to miss out. And she isn't even on instagram! 

In addition to being such a great cleaner, helper, and friend...she adores Samantha. And Samantha loves her, too! I truly could not be more thankful for this woman. She makes my life less hectic and I enjoy her company. So there you have it. My Chinese BFF. Her name is Xiao Ding, by the way.  But I'll just call her bestie.